In fact, tonight was my favourite night all-in-all since my travels begun but you know you're getting old when that statement doesn't involve, Sex, Drugs or Rock n roll.
So with two back-to-back tiring but rewarding days behind me in the form of Lake Bled and Triglav National Park, I was genuinely looking forward to long sleep and a day of rest allowing me to catch up with this equally tiring blogging malarkey. This all went to plan and before I knew it time had rolled on till 4.30.pm! Don't fret, I wasn't cooped up all day in the 'boarding school' as I went for a lunchtime stroll and cooked up some pasta which I had bought the day before in Aldi. Oh yes folks, imagine my joy at finding an Aldi - although they are named 'Hofer' over here.
I think I should take this opportunity to dispel a common misconception about backpackers allegedly invariably eating crap all day long. So I spent a modest 8 euros at Aldi, sorry - Hofer, but this would last me three lunchtimes so actually, a bargain! The ex-misses would be proud to see I am continuing to be frugal when required.
Amongst purchasing some obvious backpacker 'food' of bread, chocolate and crisps (hey, we're not perfect), I brought fruit, yoghurt, pasta, philadelphia and wait for it......smoked salmon. I started to pick a way at it when I opened the packet as the aroma was to strong to resist. Right there and then in that moment, Belinda Carlisle was right - Heaven was a place on earth and it was in my mouth! Ohhhh my it was that good.
Now culinary content, I went and showered and set out to enjoy the last obvious tourist attraction here in Ljubljana that I surprisingly hadn't seen or done yet. The castle! My options for reaching it either using the funicolare shown below or I could walk. Admittedly I was tempted for the automated option but decided I'd rather keep the 4 or 5 euros and walk it instead which proved quite easy even in low 30 degree heat.
Before I knew it I was high-up looking down upon Ljubljana's beautiful town:
Unlike Bled castle, I could walk around up here without a cost incurred. A cost was applicable if I wanted to see some of the castle's associated art and history of which I wasn't fussed or if I wanted a slightly higher vantage point over the city. I didn't.
Having now entered the castle itself, one couldn't help but immediately notice that something was definitely taking place in the centre arena and I had no idea if I was an uninvited guest to a private function! I spoke to someone wearing a "staff" t-shirt who proceeded to inform me of news that would alter my non-existent plans for the evening. Apparently, and having started only yesterday evening but continuing until late July, the castle's is transformed into a movie zone. As in, an open-aired, roofless movie arena.
'Wow' I recall saying looking up to the sky above massively disheartened that I didn't speak Slovene. Except tonight, unlike last night, the movie was being screened in English (with Slovene subtitles).
'No way...' I think I muttered leaving one obvious question which I immediately asked aware that the odds of the movie being something that a) I hadn't seen and b) wanted to see would be slim and highly improbable. Hmmmm, apparently not :-)
He said 'Interstella' and as much as I tried to be cool and not smile, no chance as I literally couldn't believe 'the luck' of everything that had unfolded over the last hour. For those unaware, Interstella was a very recent 'space-related' blockbuster starring Matthew Mcconaughey and Anne Hathaway, which I knew before hand, but hadn't seen. Would you believe me if I told you that the story gets better!?
I asked him how much for a ticket. He said well as you're up here so early (it was two hours until it started), you'll 'probably' just get in for free as I was effectively already in. 'Sh!t the bed'. Sorry, an awful Ben Kennedy expression but you get the jist...
Here are a few pics showing the area I was on about and the stage being constructed and the seats laid out.
I laughed many times as I watched from the sides the young teens reserving the front seats. Clueless, just clueless - as everybody who has been forced to sit in the very front over time will tell you. The angle to the screen was harsh and the movie was over 2.5 hours long! Enjoy your neck ache tomorrow chaps.
Here is one of the staff members pleased with her work and taking a short break:
So fast forward nearly three hours later from the start of the movie (21.30) and a large bag of popcorn and a pint of beer later, the excitement concluded. Actually 5 euros for both wasn't a bad price as certainly it would be around 6 or 7 pounds for such items back home. I recall feeling surprisingly fresh considering it was nearly 12.30am.
Anyhow, the movie was epic, truly spectacular. Yes ok, I didn't really understand much of it as the intricacies of the plot surrounding space-time was beyond my simple mind but still, brilliance is brilliance. Then again, I think I might have missed parts of it because occasionally I was distracted by a couple of air planes high above and of course, the beautiful glistening stars. I couldn't believe how apt watching this movie was whilst periodically looking into the night sky and looking out into space. Combined, this made it feel like a magical experience and could only have been topped if one of you lot were out here enjoying it with me.
Last but not least, and as the mass exodus departed, there was a little ice-cream mobile unit positioned so we would all walk past it on our way out of the castle. Bizarre, I remember thinking - who would eat ice-cream at this ungodly hour. Well, that was before I realised it was for free so naturally I went back and had some! :-) I don't know why it was for free but it was. Tonight really was incredible.
So what do you reckon folks. I could easily get used to this, couldn't you!? This will be my last post from Ljubljana and I'm so glad I had this experience here of all places as this really was the icing on the cake and naturally re-affirms my statement earlier. To simplify, I really love it here in Ljubljana and so will you which is why tomorrow I will put in the effort to write a short post dedicated to why you should come on out here.